Canada’s main stock index plunged to its lowest level in more than two weeks on Thursday, as oil prices pulled down energy shares, while the Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz predicted that low oil prices would hurt the country’s economic growth.
* Comments from Poloz are likely to reinforce market expectations that the pace of future rate hikes will ease off, a day after the central bank kept interest rates on hold.
* Global stock markets slumped as the arrest of a top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Canada for extradition to the United States accelerated fears of fresh tensions between the two economic superpowers.
* At 9:52 a.m. ET (14:52 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 347.23 points, or 2.29 percent, at 14,835.41. The main index is on course for its biggest daily drop in over six weeks.
* The losses were broad-based with all of the index’s 11 major sectors in the red, with the energy sector’s 4.5 percent slump leading the decliners.
* Oil tumbled in a volatile session after OPEC signaled it may agree to a smaller-than-expected output cut. US crude prices were down 2.8 percent per barrel, while Brent crude lost 2.3 percent.
* The financials sector slipped 1.5 percent, while the industrials sector fell 2.1 percent.
* The materials sector, which includes precious and base metals miners and fertilizer companies, lost 1.5 percent.
* On the TSX, 19 issues were higher, while 222 issues declined for a 11.68-to-1 ratio to the downside, with traded volume touching 19.66 million shares.
* The largest percentage gainers on the TSX were Aphria Inc , which jumped 11.2 percent and Hydro One Ltd, which rose 3.9 percent.
* Dollarama Inc fell 13.2 percent, the most on the TSX, after the discount store chain reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, as it faces stiff competition from US-based Dollar Tree Inc..
* The second biggest decliner was First Quantum Minerals Ltd , which fell 7.2 percent.
* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Hydro One Ltd, Aphria Inc, and Aurora Cannabis .
* The TSX posted no new 52-week high and 36 new lows.
* Across all Canadian issues, there were one new 52-week high and 91 new lows, with total volume touching 32.29 million shares.